As you begin to search for that perfect holiday tree, careful selection for quality and freshness can keep the holidays safe and attractive. A tree purchased from a lot will not be as fresh as one you cut yourself. Commercial trees are cut early in the season and may lose freshness in transportation and storage. Regardless of the tree you choose, be sure it is fresh.
- Needles should be firmly attached and pliable. The cut end of a fresh tree should be sticky with sap. The needles should be quite fragrant (fir and white pine have the strongest scent). If many needles are dry and fall off, the tree is not very fresh and should not be purchased.
- Pines retain their needles the longest, with Scots and red holding their needles longer than white pine. Spruce trees drop their needles the fastest.
Branches should be full and bushy and strong enough to support ornaments.